Friday, July 18, 2014
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AgFax Grain Review: Price Slump Gone Too Far; Fewer Jobs for Detasslers

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Markets/Trade

  • AgriMoney.com reports that Commerzbank has joined a growing number of commentators questioning the current gloom in grain markets and cautioning that the price slump has gone too far. The bank predicts a slight recovery in prices, with corn futures forecast at $4 and soybeans at $11 for the last quarter of 2014.
  • AgriMoney.com also reports that New York based broker Jefferies Bache has announced that historical patterns indicate soybean futures are on track to fall below $10 a bushel for the first time in 4 years. Bache’s predictions based market records since 1979 are for futures to bottom out in a $9.65-9.84 a bushel range, though he says they could fall as low as $9.40.
  • Jeff Wilson reports for Bloomberg that rail delays in North Dakota and across the upper Midwest combined with the projected record soybean crop this season are causing a crunch for storage space, as bins are still nearly full with grain from last year’s harvest that have yet to be shipped out. One grain shipper says that even with additional on-farm storage built over the last few years it’s unlikely they’ll have enough space to store this year’s crop.
  • Gerson Freitas Jr. reports for Bloomberg that Brazil’s top soybean grower has announced it plans to scale back on soybean production after the recent dive in market prices. SLC Agricola, which in 2011 announced plans to double its soybean production area by 2025, has scrapped its expansion plans and declared it intends to instead focus on boosting yields and making production more efficient.

Production

  • KETV Channel 7 ABC News for Omaha, Nebraska, reports that there are fewer jobs for detasslers in Nebraska corn fields this summer due to fewer acres. Seed companies scaled back plantings this spring due to a surplus of seed from last year’s record production while farmers also cut back on corn acreage due to lower corn prices. Additionally, storms heavily damaged a number of fields. One detassling company reported a 40% reduction in the acres it’s hired to work, while many others also reported working fewer acres this season.
  • Jeff Burbrink reports on The Elkhart Truth that Midwestern Extension specialists are warning that conditions this year are favorable for the development of white mold in soybeans. The disease favors cool, wet, cloudy, humid conditions at flowering and can be difficult to manage. Once the disease has been confirmed in a field fungicides can only be used to reduce its spread, as they only work as a preventative for the disease rather than a cure.
  • Mike Staton of Michigan State University reports on AgProfessional.com that many growers continue to favor foliar fertilizer applications in soybeans despite hundreds of university trials across the U.S. showing mixed results. Staton affirms that based on MSU studies, Michigan Extension does not recommend foliar fertilizer applications do to a low probability of beneficial economic impact.
  • Jane Fyksen reports on AgriView.com that once soybean enter flowering, or R1 phase of development, they become more susceptible to yield loss from wheel damage. Growers should try to plan any last sprays for before flowering begins or to limit sprayer traffic as much as possible once flowering starts. Fyksen also notes that the glyphosate label for soybeans is only through R2, or full flower, with any applications in R3 or later being off-label applications.
  • A report from South Dakota State University on AgProfessional.com notes that to obtain best yielding soybeans you need to begin with best management practices. A recent study showed that certified research fields were yielding 20 bushels an acre more than neighboring fields, a clear indication of the importance of management decisions. SDSU then teamed up with local growers to compile a comprehensive guide of best management practices for South Dakota.

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